Harley Benton R-457BK Fanfret


7-String Electric Guitar

  • Body: Lime
  • Bolted neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Neck profile: Speed-D
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • 24 Fanned medium jumbo frets
  • Offset Dot fretboard inlays
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Dual Action truss rod
  • Nut width: 48 mm
  • Pickups: 2 Passive Hi-Gain humbuckers
  • 1 Volume control and 1 tone control
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • Nut: Nubone
  • Black hardware
  • Deluxe diecast machine heads
  • Strings (ex works): .009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042, .054
  • Colour: Black High Gloss
available since November 2017
Item number 410817
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Black
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 24
Scale 686 mm
Pickup System HH
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
Number of Strings 7
Style ST
Color Black
Fretbboard Blackwood
Long Scale 686 mm
Short Scale 648 mm
Pickups HH
Vibrato No
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Great basis for an upgrade
ZoltanP 20.01.2020
This is a great option for those who want to venture into the territory of extended range: 7 multiscale strings are not easy and not cheap to come by, so this price point is simply killer, and gives everyone the opportunity to try something special for less than a fortune.

That being said, you also get what you pay for, more so than on most other Harley Bentons I've bought over the years.

Out of the box, the setup was alright given the guitar's stock features, but there was a lot of room for improvement:

- The nubone nut was a bit loosely set and fell off, so I had to reattach it with superglue;

- The nut's slots deserved to be filed down a full millimeter on every string, its top trimmed down by 2-3mm, its corners rounded and sanded (otherwise they protruded too much and got in the way of playing on the first fret);

- about a third of the frets were high, so I gave them a complete levelling, dressing and polishing:

- the stock humbuckers were okay but very dark and muddy, so I replaced them with Fishman Fluence pickups and electronics (that kit alone cost almost twice as much as the guitar, but Fishman pickups sound amazing, so totally worth every penny);

- The stock tuners were decent but 1:19 ratio locking tuners (also from Harley Benton) are much better for stability for these heavy strings;

- The string ferrules on the back of the body all fell out when I destrung the guitar: their holes are a tiny bit too big in diameter, but a blob of Loctite on the side of each ferrule solved that issue;

- When properly intonated, the springs of three out of seven bridge saddles got so loose that they rattled. You either need to put longer springs in there, or add pads of some sort to compress the springs and cut out the parasite noises (I used small strips cut out of a leather strap);

- Finally the blackwood fretboard is acceptable, but be careful with lemon oil: it soaks it up quickly and spits it back for days. My biggest grievance though is this: why on earth is there no second marker at the 12th fret? Especially as there are three of them at the 24th!

Note also that the stock pickups were base-mounted and their routs are too narrow for any top-mounted alternative, including my Fishman humbuckers. So I had to get the Dremel out, rout the cavities wider (thank God it's a basswood body!), drill deeper into the body to get enough clearance for the top-mounting screws, and craft and attach home made pickup rings for top-mounting, as the guitar has no pickguard.

A nice touch is that the back control cavity was covered in shielding paint ex factory. Another positive is that the maple neck is really sturdy, stable, well shaped and smooth (I nevertheless wet sanded the back of it with some 600 grit paper for even better feel). And the overall guitar remains relatively light for something this big, and exactly balanced. No neck dive whatsoever.

Once all of the above was done (roughly 3 days of work), I could do a proper setup, adjust the trussrod, lower the action, perfect the intonation, and... ENJOY WHAT IS NOW A REAL HEAVY METAL MONSTER \m/ THAT'S ALSO VERY EASY TO PLAY, EXTREMELY VERSATILE SOUNDING, AND DEAD ACCURATE FROM FRET 1 TO 24. The last bit of buzz that remains is just because I missed a high spot on fret 13. It will soon be fixed.

Agreed, if you add the extra parts I used and the manhours I spent, this project is in the end not any less expensive than some of the entry level and even mid range alternatives from Ibanez, Jackson or Schecter, but I still love it, and have greatly enjoyed the upgrade process. Plus now my guitar is truly unique.


Genuinely Impressed
The Ditch Doc 15.02.2022
Out of the box, minimal setup was required. A little fret buzz on string 7, but shipping from Germany to the US with assumedly very little climate control I am not prepared to blame that on the set up (if any) from Harley Benton or Thomann. Truss adjustment and raising the action a tad and we were cruising.
So build quality was ok, but given the price, pretty impressive. I did have some minimal cosmetic damage to the back of the body, but once again, a risk you run when shipping. The guitar is surprisingly light, but not sacrificing sustain with the cheaper wood options. The fretboard was dry and the fret wire could use a polish, but the ends of the fret wire are adequately finished as to not snag on the strings or dig in to your fingers.

Feature wise, this is about what you would expect from an entry level anything in guitar land. Volume and tone pots have a surprising amount of resistance but I accidently pulled of my tone nob when giving the guitar once over. Simple press fit, so jam it back on there. 3 way blade switch does what its supposed to do.
Finally, the tone. Maybe there were recent changes to the pickups used, but I can't say I agree with the common complaint that the guitar sounds muddy. Out of my Boss Katana MkII with no EQ or patch changes from my normal, I found it the guitar to produce adequate tones, with solid dynamics and sustain. Felt very in expressive in the mids and highs, which is right in the pocket I like to be for my metal playing.

Overall, for the price, I can't say I have played anything better. Even with shipping half way around the world, I still was under $250 USD, placing this guitar as the only option I would recommend (so far) for players wanting to give extended range and/or multiscale without obscene financial commitment.


Dropped tune + 7 string + fanfret
ZeStynks 20.02.2022
It is my third guitar, first was acustic Yam. f310, second was Ibanez RG421. In standart E Ibanez is wonderful, and I`m heapy enough. But unfortunately I can`t always change tuning down and back. So, I decided to by 7 string guitar to drop the tuning down. It was the cheapest one with the normal size of scale of the bass strings, firstly I wanted Jackson js22-7, it has well size scale too, but the prise is about two times bigger.
So, I ordered R-457:
Delivery was good, guitar looks ok, all pickups positions work right, but I haven`t checked anker. Quality is really good, but three tuning pegs quiet folter(not fatal), I tightened the nuts, no effect, at all -- they works normal; metal of strings scale regulation screw-bolts(in bridge) and furniture is too weak(like in all cheap guitars). Fanften is beautiful, nothing to say more because it only consequence of multi-scale, as for me, and I haven`t any discomfort. Multi-scale is a really interesting thing to make a bass sound. Pickups are well-working(but not Ibanez) in standart A with 13-50+59 dunlop, I`m completely satisfied. For me it lies on my hands and leg very comfortable.
Conclusion: it seems like the best and the cheapest 7-strings guitar at February 2022 for Russian consumer with one allowance that I don`t know prise for js22-7 in the other countries and experience of it

General points:
1)normal pickups and quality for the best price
2)multiscale and 7 string


Does exactly what is needed.
AveryGaymerGirl 25.12.2021
This guitar is really impressive. After playing and recording with it, the Harley Benton R-457 Fanfret has turned out to be a great choice.

Firstly we'll look at what I don't like about it:
- The strings it comes with are not great. That doesn't matter, you're just gonna put new ones on when you get it.
- the (passive) pickups can be quite muddy. You'll have to manage the amount of gain you have set because the sound gets messy with these pickups. It doesn't bother me that much and maybe it's just a personal preference thing. It shouldn't bother you too much unless you're trying to record with it.
- the neck had a few patches where it didn't feel very smooth but not noticeable when playing.

But these are minor inconveniences for me. The guitar is pretty amazing, especially at this price (I got mine for £149). There are plenty of things that I do like about the instrument:
- The neck feels similar to Jacksons I've played, obviously it is wider to accommodate the low B string but it's still thin and feels good to play on.
- I like the weight of the guitar and it doesn't have much neck dive even with the added string.
- The cutaways allow for easy access to the top frets, and the frets are the best thing about it.
- The fanned fret design is very comfortable and the frets are not rough or sharp.
- there are no issues with the finish

Overall I would definitely recommend the R-457 Fanfret to anyone who wants to try a 7 string or a multiscale/fanned fret guitar. It costs such a small amount of money yet it performs so well. If this guitar cost £300 I would think that's a reasonable price, but Harley Benton/Thomann consistently deliver high quality products for lower prices, allowing anyone to experience these features usually reserved for far more expensive guitars.